BOISE, Idaho — Plenty of Idahoans want to give back to their community as it faces hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While it's always good to give back, Dale Dixon from the Better Business Bureau says that being aware of how a charity operates is essential in making sure your money goes to the right place.
"When we want to give, and we encourage people to be generous in their giving, give smartly," Dixon said. "It starts with research, and it's oftentimes calling up at that level and having a conversation with somebody saying 'Hey, where's the money going? How are you distributing it? what's happening inside your organization?'"
Dixon also mentions that legitimate charities should have a track record of how donated funds are used.
Visiting the organization's website can be an excellent way to learn their purpose and how they work to achieve their goals.
Dixon also said sites like Give.org, Charity Navigator and Charity Watch can help you decide where to give.
Checking social media for updated information is also important, as some organizations may have received so many donations that they are recommending people donate to other charities.
"A real, relevant charity is going to have a presence online, and other people will be talking about it," Dixon said.
As far as actually handing over the cash, Dixon says mobile payment apps like Google Pay, Apple Pay and Venmo can be safe ways to transfer funds.
It's also important to be aware of processing fees that occur during any electronic charitable transaction.
The Better Business Bureau has plenty of other resources to help you give back safely on their website.